Why Guns Won Before 3D Printing: Industrialization, Post-Industrialization, and the Problem of Scale in Small Arms Control

By Mark

“It might take 10 years or 20 years. Hell, it might take 50 years. But if we make it illegal to own a handgun, eventually there will be no handguns.”  -Gerald Ensley[i]

 “Gun prohibition then, is not the same as banning DDT or leaded gasoline. It is more like banning fire.” –Nicholas Johnson[ii]

When people hear that I write about 3D printed and homemade guns (along with some of the other security implications of the “4th Industrial Revolution and democratization of manufacturing), sometimes they ask me-

“So, does this mean gun control is going to be pointless now?” Continue reading

Brave New World, Same as the Old One: Some Implications of DIY Guns in the Neo-Artisanal Age

By Mark

“This is a symbol of irreversibility. They can never eradicate the gun from the earth.”  — Cody Wilson, founder of “Defense Distributed”[i]

“From an Orwellian perspective, you’d be better off brain scanning people for malicious intentions than controlling for 3D weapons.” — John Wanberg, Industrial Designer[ii]

Homemade guns are an interesting cross between novelty, genuine innovation, legitimate security concern, and well-hyped harbinger of a technologic moral panic. People have been ready to freak out about 3D printed and “do-it-yourself (DIY)” guns for a few years now. The reality of DIY weapons is more complex.  Continue reading